J.D. Bartar Collection
Collection photo # S-593.01 - USS Scranton embarking troops in a French port.
Photo album compiled by J.D. Bartar, who served on USS Scranton (ID-3511) in 1919. It contains 86 photographs containing images related to the ship, her crew, and activities while she was employed transporting US troops home from France in March-July 1919. There are no views of her earlier service (from September 1918 to January 1919) as a Navy cargo ship and animal transport. Many of the photographs were taken, presumably from on board USS Scranton, in the New York Harbor area and in western French waters. Subject matter consists of many interior ships views (ward room, radio room, engine room, medical staff, canteen, pay office, and store room), as well troops boarding the ship and scenes of New York and France. The following cargo and transport ships can be seen in the photographs: El Sol (ID-4505), Graft Waldersee (ID-4040), Great Northern, Henderson, Leviathan (ID-4063), Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm (ID-4063), Sierra (ID-1634), and Walter A. Luckenbach (ID-3171).
Once incident that is extensively covered concerns an incident that while sailing to France to begin her first troop-carrying duties in late March, USS Scranton suffered damage to her rudder and was disabled 900 nautical miles east of New York on March 28, 1919. Navy transport El Sol responded to Scranton's distress call, and attempted to take Scranton under tow. During the day, Scranton attempted to run a towline to USS El Sol by sending a launch in the rolling seas, but it capsized, drowning three men. USS El Sol stood by USS Scranton for over 40 hours until minesweeper USS Penguin arrived and took USS Scranton under tow. USS Penguin and USS Scranton arrived in New York on 3 April, where Scranton entered dry dock to undergo repairs.
Thirty-two images from the collection have been cataloged at the item level into the NH series (NH 99438-NH 99467.
Chuck Haberlein and Ed Finney
Naval History & Heritage Command